In the land of Gandhi and Modi, Dalits still render water ‘impure’ for others #WTFnews


 

 

Dailybhaskar.com | Jun 13, 2013,

 

Ahmedabad: Just 45 kms from the cosmopolitan hub of Ahmedabad, a village in Bavla Talika district has been found to be using caste as a parameter for distribution of water supply. On the scale, the highest castes of Rajputs and Patels have exclusive access to the well in the morning from 8 to 10 am, with Bharwas and Vaghris using the well from 10 to 12 am. Dalits, or Harijans as they are locally known, are only allowed access after 12 am till 2 pm.
According to a report, the pipelines carrying water are also arranged so each caste has a different one for their exclusive use. While the two upper castes can and do use each other’s water interchangeably, graphic warnings levying ‘strict penalties’ on Dalits if they are caught using others’ water decorate the surrounding walls.
In fact, a DNA correspondent notes that so ‘derogatory are the pictorial prohibitions and the language used in them that the person who wrote them could be easily charged under Atrocities Act.
Surprisingly, the casteist practise has the backing of village panchayat.
“We have put up the notice to streamline water distribution as we have separate pipelines for areas where people of different castes reside,” Pratapsinh Dodia, the husband of sarpanch Nimisha Dodia was quoted saying by DNA.
“And people don’t like when those from other communities use the same well. Villages are different from cities,” he conceded.
Throwing light on what upper castes call ‘tradition’,  local NGO Navsarjan Trust workers told DNA that even Dalits have stopped protesting against ‘inferior treatment’ as they have become used to it. Startlingly, coordination officer of the NGO Ramila Parmar was quoted by DNA claiming that such water distribution procedure can be found all over the state.
“We have lodged a complaint with the chief minister via e-mail. We are surprised by such things happening in the constituency of panchayat minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama,” said Navsarjan project director Kirit Rathod.

 

 

In Narendra Modi’s Gujarat- Cries of caste discrimination reverberate


 Narandra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat Story: Propaganda vs Fact #mustread

TNN | Apr 14, 2013, 02.24 AM IST

AHMEDABAD: “We are not allowed to get our hair cut at the barber’s shop in our village even if we are ready to pay a few rupees more. If the barber agrees to cut our hair, he is beaten black and blue by the upper caste people of the village,” said BhupatZala, a resident of Badarkha village near Dholka.

The same problem is faced by dalits in Bhat, Kashindera, Ranoda and several other villages of Dholka district. “The dalits are not allowed to have tea in hotels in the vicinity of these villages and they are also not allowed to enter the temples built for the ‘upper classes’ of the society.”

Tales of discrimination tore through the tag of ‘developed’ state as hundreds of members of the dalit community poured on to the streets of the city to raise voice against injustice meted out to them on the eve of 123rd birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. Thousands of people from 16 states of India and 18 districts of Gujarat participated in the dalit rally organized by Navsarjan and Jan Vikas.

The rally started from Aanand Ashram in Sarkhej and ended at Sanskar Kendra, Paldi. Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar, Mallika Sarabhai, the former Chairman of UGC Sukhdeo Thorat, member of planning commission Dr Sayeeda Hameed, founder of Hamal Panchayat Baba Adhav remained present in the rally to support dalit rights. The cultural groups from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh performed special art of drum beating in the rally.

People from different states who arrived in the city to stand for dalit rights unanimously said that untouchability still prevails countrywide. Suresh Kumar, a member of Dalit Foundation, Himachal Pradesh, said, “The dalits of Santoshgarh village of Himachal Pradesh are till date not allowed passing from the streets where Brahmins and Rajputs reside. If a dalit touches the house of an upper class man, he is beaten cruelly. A small boy who mistakenly entered a temple built for upper class communities was beaten to death.” The dalits who came to participate in the rally from Himachal Pradesh also agreed that the police and legal system do not support or protect them.

In Rajasthan, Mamgilal Meghwal’s 30 bigha land was seized by the upper class people. His land was allotted to him on three different names Magga, Mangiya and Mamgilal which is a common tradition in dalits. Taking benefit from that, his land was seized. “Even after submitting identity proofs provided by Gram Panchayat and Jilla Panchayat, I was denied. I registered a complaint against them and also filed a court case, but no actions were taken by the authorities,” said Mamgilal.

Anju Saha, a student from Manjali village of Uttarakhand, said, “Dalit ladies are not allowed to cook food in our village school. If they touch it, the Brahmin and Rajput kids won’t eat it. These upper class students don’t sit with the dalit students. We are even asked to leave seats empty in the busses.”

Ray of hope

This proves that the problem of untouchability is ubiquitous in India. However, Satara district of Maharashtra and Karmabhoomi of Dr B R Ambedkar has a different story. According to Chandrakant More and Ujjavala Bhandare from Satara, even though the district is dominated by upper class people, no need has emerged to fight for dalit rights in recent years.

 

To address sexual violence, begin with gender sensitisation of the police #Vaw #Womenrights


rape11

Outrage in Bulandshahr

The Indian Express : Fri Apr 12 2013, 02:15 hrs
Earlier this week, a 10-year-old Jatav girl was put behind bars at the Bulandshahr women’s police station. Her offence: she had gone to file a rape complaint. As reported in this paper, the girl, who lives with her parents in a village mainly populated by Rajputs, had allegedly been raped by a 35-year-old Rajput man on Sunday evening. The family has been under pressure to withdraw the case and move out of the village, a course of action supported by the village panchayat. Now the Supreme Court has expressed consternation at the abdication of duty by the police.

In the wake of the Delhi gangrape last December, calls for a more lasting change coalesced around a single, impatiently rushed through law — the Criminal (Amendments) Bill, 2012. While discussion on the provisions of the bill dominated the public discourse on rape, less attention has been paid to how law interacts with, and addresses, caste, class and gender biases, how it translates in different contexts, not just in the metros but also in smaller towns and villages. Law must operate within a matrix of local power relations heavily tilted against victims of sexual violence, especially those from lower castes. The police belong to this matrix, complicit in the interests and prejudices working within it. It is urgent, therefore, that issues such as gender sensitisation of the police and the non-registration of complaints are highlighted and addressed. Incidents such as the one in Bulandshahr point to the need for wider and deeper changes such as those recommended by the National Police Commission. While urging measures to de-link the police from the existing power structures and political interference, it also proposed a special cell to look into complaints of police insensitivity and intransigence coming from weaker sections of society, including SCs and STs.

The Bulandshahr scandal is a reminder that deliberation and discussion on sexual crimes cannot be whittled down to a single law. It must take into account a gamut of more difficult changes, social and institutional, that transform the way such crimes are perceived and their victims are addressed.

 

#India- Access to dignity barred for Dalits


Jyotsna Siddharth

Denial of drinking water and toilet facilities in rural areas directly results in increased atrocities against Dalit women

In September last year, 14-year-old Meena (name changed) from the Sansi Dalit caste, was abducted and gang raped by four Rajput men when she stepped outside her house to perform morning ablutions. They later dumped her outside her house before registering an FIR against her name for committing theft in their house. The charges were condemned by the Sansi community and the girl sent to her relative’s place after the medical report confirmed rape.

The incident where this took place, Kalayat in Haryana’s Kaithal district is dominated by the Rajputs with Dalits, particularly Sansis constituting 25 per cent of the village population. Denial of basic facilities such as drinking water or absence of toilets here like several other villages requires minor girls like Meena to walk long distances every day. Dalit women also succumb to atrocities by upper caste communities as most of times the source of drinking water is located in the upper caste fields.

This issue explains the underlying inter-linkages between caste dynamics, lack of basic amenities and the patriarchal character of society. Drinking water and sanitation are the most critical issues that impact women’s lives corresponding to healthcare facilities, education, shelter, livelihood and security. It is the presence and absence of these indicators that symbolises the course of development, especially gender inclusive ‘development’. In most parts of the country, absence of water and sanitation puts women, especially Dalit women, in a vulnerable situation. Walking several miles to fetch water or for toilet often results in incidents of harassment in rural areas.

According to an article by Alexandra Barton on the water project, Indian women in rural regions can walk up to an average of 10 miles a day, carrying up to 15 litres every trip.” The Human Development Report, 2006, states “Women in Africa and Asia often carry water on their heads weighing 20 kg, the same as the average U.K. airport luggage allowance.”

As a society, we are living on a paradox where women continue to invest time and labour but receive the minimum possible returns. The issue gets further complicated when viewed from a marginalised perspective. A report published on Caste Discrimination against Dalits by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and Human Rights Watch way back in 2007 described that “Dalits are denied equal access to a spectrum of places and services intended for use by the general public, such as police stations, government ration shops, post offices, schools, water facilities and village council offices. As a result of segregation in water facilities, more than 20 per cent of Dalits do not have access to safe drinking water, only ten per cent of Dalit households have access to sanitation (as compared to 27 per cent for non-Dalit households), and the vast majority of Dalits depend on the ‘goodwill’ of upper-caste community members for access to water from community wells”.

The figures from Census 2011 provide a meaningful insight into current socio-economic scenario of India. Only 43.5 per cent of households have access to tap water and only 32 per cent have water from treated sources while 11.6 per cent continue to draw from untreated sources. Glancing at the Census 2011 data for Scheduled Caste population, it clearly indicates that there has not been much progress in condition of Dalits since 2007. The total population for SC households in rural areas is 32,919,665 of which only 63,48,622 have access to tap water from a treated source. About 4,219,829 SC households till today continue to draw tap water from untreated sources. As far as sanitation in rural SC households is concerned, only 7,520,933 families have latrine facilities within the premises. It is shocking to see that there are about 47,736 households in rural areas and 16,375 in urban areas where night soil continues to be removed by humans.

#Mumbai- Locals catch 17-yr-old molesting 2-yr-old girl #Vaw #WTFnews


CHILDRAPE

The teenager lured the child with a chocolate into a dark alley, where he started undressing her, only to be spotted by a kin and nabbed by locals

January 21, 2013
MUMBAI
Sagar Rajput and Karishni Khanna, Midday

Tragedy was averted in the dark alleys of Shivaji Nagar on Saturday evening, thanks to the united efforts of locals to protect one of their own. A two-year-old narrowly escaped being sexually abused by a 17-year-old boy around 6.30 pm at Shivaji Nagar.

The victim and the accused are both residents of the same locality. As the girl played near her house in the evening, the teenager lured her with a chocolate and took her to a deserted area nearby.

He then allegedly started undressing her, when the child’s relative who lives in the locality spotted him, and approached him to find out what he was up to. Scared, the boy got fled from the spot.

The relative then raised the alarm, and with help from other locals, caught the teenaged offender, hauling him to the Shivaji Nagar police station thereafter.

The accused has been arrested under Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty). “The accused was brought to the police station by the locals,” said investigating officer Ajit Sawale.

According to the police officials, documents submitted by his parents suggests that the accused is a minor, but medical tests will be conducted to verify the same.

Only after the confirmation will it be decided whether to produce the accused in a juvenile court or not. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old has been denying all the allegations levelled against him by the victim.

 

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